There are many other professional racing series that also are tied to the use of motorhomes, such as CART, IRL, American LeMans, and others. Their drivers, crews, and spectators are significant users of our way of travel.
I believe amateur racing has an even greater synergy with motorhomes. Series such as SCCA and the myriad amateur vintage racing clubs throughout the country have made motorhomes an integral part of their racing activities. Walk down the paddock of any road racing facility around the country on any race weekend, and you will see motorhomes of all varieties. It is a part of racing life. Historic road racing tracks such as Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca, and Road America are geared toward their use.
I race an old Lotus formula car at race events around the country from our base here in New Mexico. We are part of a loosely formed racing team of old characters we humorously call ROOT Racing (ROOT stands for “running out of time”). It became clear very early on that a motorhome was a must for support and comfort during the typical four-day race weekends. I have been racing in these vintage amateur events for nine years now and have had four different motorhomes during that period. They are indispensable.
We enjoy the magazine. Keep up the good work.
Ron Greenwell, F152327
Sandia Park, New Mexico
New Chapter, New Friends
After reading the article about the Sun Wheelers chapter in the “Chapter Spotlight” column (November 2007, page 40) and attending a local rally with them in January, we just had to write. From the minute we pulled into our site on Friday night until the minute we left on Sunday morning, this happy, fun-loving group of RVers made us feel welcome. Everything Doug Pearson, chapter president, said in the article was absolutely true. We were their guests for the weekend.
We enjoyed their Friday night “social time,” which included playing cards, doing puzzles, or just chatting with the members and getting to know them. Saturday’s breakfast and dinner were a great time, and the food was awesome! Saturday’s happy hour was a continuation of the social time from Friday night, along with some delicious munchies.
There was also a round of golf on Saturday morning at a local course with some of the guys. Sunday morning’s continental breakfast was the finish to a fun-filled weekend full of laughs.
Needless to say, before we left, we turned in our application and dues to join this warm, loving group of campers! Now we have something to look forward to each month.
Jim & Susan Burke, F371056
Recovering From Power Surge
My wife and I have been full-timing for two years in our 2006 Bounder diesel coach. We would like to share with your readers a good experience we had with Campbell RV, 550 Cattlemen Road, in Sarasota, Florida (941-342-4330; www.campbellrv.com).
One day during our four-month winter stay in Sarasota, we experienced an electrical power surge at our site. In an instant we lost a television set, the air pump for our adjustable bed, our refrigerator cooling fans, our Xantrex inverter/charger, and other smaller electrical devices.
Fortunately, by chance we contacted Campbell RV and were immediately invited to bring our coach in for inspection and subsequent service and repairs. Service manager Barry Bowles was very helpful in dealing with the warranties, insurance, and all of our concerns. We have found that the courteous and immediate assistance offered by Campbell RV is an exception to the rule, and we wanted our fellow RV owners in the Sarasota area to know that effective, friendly service is, indeed, available.
Robert L. Abbey, F375632
Live Oak, Florida
Clamping The Ironing Board
Having just read the February 2008 issue of FMC magazine (which I always enjoy), I feel that the Tech Tip from Mr. Gary Henry, F243150, “Ironing Board Adaptation” (page 30) could use a minor modification.
I always used the 6-inch version of this type of clamp, and reversed their application by 180 degrees. This way the very small clamp head is protruding above the board, instead of the metal/plastic clamp shafts sticking upward, as depicted in the magazine.
Don Fraley, F303731
Ford Fuel Pump Fix
This past Fourth of July, my wife, daughter, 5-year-old grandson, and I were traveling to northwest Pennsylvania for a family gathering with stops along the way. We were traveling or visiting for the better part of six weeks and would have had our trip spoiled by a dead fuel pump on the Ford 460 engine that powers our unit.
While parked in a family driveway in Meadville, Pennsylvania, we were dead in the water (so to speak). We talked to several shops that would look at the problem if we could get to them. Finally, a friend suggested we check with Bobby Miller of Miller’s Truck & Auto Repair to see if he could solve our problem. We did just that.
The Miller family had just returned from a weeklong vacation, the first in several years due to the demands of their business. Everyone in the shop was busy getting fleet commitments fulfilled upon their return, and things were pretty hectic.
I explained my dilemma to Mr. Miller, to which he replied, “I won’t be able to come by until after 2:30 this afternoon.” Since the motorhome had been down for a few days and no other shops had been able to help, that was the best news I’d had in a week.
At 2:30 p.m. he and Paul, a Ford tech, arrived at the house, analyzed the situation, went to get a fuel filter, and diagnosed the fuel pump. They then made arrangements for a tow truck (one that enjoyed a good reputation for NOT causing damage while towing) for the following morning. We were in and out the next day and for a very fair charge.
When you need help for any type of coach, gas or diesel, call Miller’s Truck & Auto Repair in Meadville (814-336-1508). They display the true professional posture FMCA members will welcome and appreciate.
Bill Snyder, F32132
“How’s My Driving?”
I just read the fine article by Bill Hendrix in the January 2007 issue with safety tips regarding towing a vehicle behind the motorhome (“Hooking Up The Towed Vehicle,” page 72). At the end of the article, he suggests that motorhomers keep the CB radio tuned to Channel 19, to be alerted if a hazardous condition is observed. For those who do not have a CB radio or may not always have it on, I have put my cell phone number on the back of our vehicle, so someone can call us if a problem arises that I am not aware of.
I am sure there are other drivers who would like to see more enforcement of the basic driving laws, to stop the increased problem of aggressive drivers who tailgate, drive at excessive speeds, and abruptly change lanes without signals, etc. If every insurance company would require its policyholders to place an identification sticker enabling anyone to call a number and report if the vehicle was observed moving about in an unsafe manner, as many commercial vehicles have, I think it would help with the problem drivers. I would bet the only people who would object to this would be the problem drivers.
Roger H. Groot
Fine Stop In Fayetteville
While on a 2 1/2-month trip (3,000 miles) to Arizona, we encountered some strange vibrations in our Pace Arrow, which has a Ford V-10 engine. Being only 500 miles down the road, I stopped at Crown Ford in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Not only did they get this problem fixed at a very reasonable cost in record time (2 1/2 hours), but we also stayed there overnight with water and electric hookups.
The trouble was a misfire on the number 7 spark plug, which was replaced, and while we were there the mechanic suggested that we replace the recalled cruise control. They completed the work, and we were happy and on our way.
If you are ever in need for repair for your RV or car, stop by the heavy truck department at Crown Ford, and ask for Frank Wells, truck service manager, and Louis Rodriguez, an excellent mechanic who knows his RVs.
Thanks again, Crown Ford, for the fine service and peaceful night.
Harold P. Jurgens, F275472
Cairo, New York
Towing The Grand Vitara
I bought a new 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara in March 2007 and have been towing it behind my Monaco Camelot ever since.
In paragraph five of the “Towing The Grand Vitara” article (January 2008, page 74), the writer states that you have to physically unlock the doors via the remote, unlike other vehicles where the driver never has to remove the key from his pocket. This is not correct. The doors do not unlock automatically as you approach, but they do unlock without removing the key from your pocket. There is a small black rubber button on both front door handles and on the handle of the rear gate. With the key in your pocket, just walk up to the vehicle and push the button, and the doors unlock.
The writer also says the key must be inside the vehicle to switch the ignition to the “off” position. That’s not correct, either.
Finally, the writer gives the wrong sequence for placing the transfer case into neutral and makes it sound much more complicated than it is.
Jeffrey L. Sweet, F337750
Fultonville, New York
Electrical Repair In South Carolina
During the night of November 15, we had an electrical failure in our coach. We were beginning a three-month trip, which meant we had to have it repaired as soon as possible. We were at the Freightliner chassis facility in Gaffney, South Carolina. They did not repair “house” electrical problems. It was a Friday, so it would be a long weekend without electricity!
Another RV owner in the customer lounge told us that he was impressed with the work at Richard’s RV Service Center in Greer, South Carolina (864-879-2067). When we called, they said they would be able to check our coach in the early afternoon. Upon our arrival, two techs came out to solve our problem, and they were done in about an hour.
To our great surprise, they said there would be no charge. Service like this cannot be found in too many places, and I told them they just might see their name in Family Motor Coaching magazine some day. And we’ve had no further electrical troubles since then.
Jim Hazard, F212809
Amigo Motorhome Info Needed
I am an Amigo motorhome owner. I have learned that most Amigos were built with a Dodge chassis, and very few had a GM chassis. Mine is a 28-foot type A built on a 1972 GMC P-30 truck chassis. It has a GM 402 V-8 engine, which is rare, and an automatic transmission. It has a one-piece fiberglass roof with 18-gauge galvanized steel. I also have all the books that came with it when it was new.
I am writing because I would like to know how long Amigo was in business and what this coach is currently worth. Also, anyone who also owns an Amigo or has info on Amigo motorhomes, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Hamlin, New York
Ketelsen RV Goes Extra Mile
We were preparing to leave after Christmas for our three-month RV vacation to Arizona. I was filling the fresh water tank when the plastic inlet connection cracked open. I decided to try to find a replacement part. This was on December 27. I stopped at one dealer with no success. I then drove to Ketelsen RV in Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids), Iowa, where I saw a sign saying they were closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day. As I was leaving, I noticed one gentleman overseeing ice removal in their lot. I approached him, and it happened to be the owner, Gary Ketelsen. I explained the problem, and he said, “Let’s see what we can do to fix you up.” He opened up the parts area and found exactly what I needed. In a short amount of time I was on my way, replaced the part, and we were as good as new.
We extend a big thanks to Gary Ketelsen of Ketelsen RV (319-377-8244) and recommend this company to fellow members.
Joe and Linda Evers, F146029
West Virginia Stopover
While we were traveling south on Interstate 77 through West Virginia, our motorhome’s alternator quit charging. After contacting Coach-Net, we were put in contact with Hutch’s Truck Repair, off I-77, exit 85. They took us to their home and allowed us to hook up to electric and water for the night. On Sunday morning they replaced our alternator, and we were on our way by noon.
We thank them for making us feel like family and we encourage anyone in the area needing help to contact them at (304) 442-4649.
Bill Henestofel, F303445
On July 10, 2007, we had an accident with our Roadtrek motorhome in Bear, Delaware. We were towed to Bear Collision Center (302-832-7199), where owner Bill Weber and his qualified staff spent countless hours repairing the motorhome. They did a first-class job! Our insurance agency, Progressive Express Insurance Company (Riverview, Florida), was a pleasure to work with. They were very helpful and made a bad situation bearable. I would not hesitate recommending Bear Collision Center and Progressive Express Insurance to any RV owner.
Ralph E. Plant, F375413
New Smyrna Beach, Florida